I liked this book overall, and I certainly liked the idea of the book, but I think the thing is that the action never really took off and made this book one I couldn't put down. There were many details about monks and monistaries and not enough character development I think. This book read more like a history book than most historical fiction novels I have read. Unfortunately, I loved Dan Brown's Davinci Code. That historical novel had detail, but it had enough non-stop action to keep the reader involved and interested. His characters we more believable I suppose.
Even the love stories in this book, and I believe there are two, were weak and not well devoleped. There is little passion in this book at all, except perhaps the auther has for the old monistaries. I just kept feeling like something was missing. I was able to finish the book, but I won't really be adding it to any of my Christmas lists this year.